Sha Tin father who attacked sleeping 13-year-old with chopper avoids jail
A father who attacked his sleeping son with a kitchen knife was put on 18 months' probation.
Tsang Ping-kwan, 54, attacked the 13-year-old as he was sleeping in the sitting room of their family home at a Sha Tin public housing estate.
The decorator, who has a history of mental illness, had pleaded guilty to one count of wounding with intent.
The District Court heard that Tsang's health had been in decline for several months before the attack. He lost weight, had suffered from insomnia since March and began speaking incoherently in April. Chief District Judge Poon Siu-tung said: "It is a special case. The defendant committed the crime under the influence of his diseases, and there are no other reasons."
The judge said it was unlikely that Tsang would commit the crime again because he had been described as a caring family man by his family members and employer. Poon ordered him to receive regular psychiatric treatment, directed by probation officers, and to take his medication at the proper times.
At midnight on May 17, the son awoke to see his father "holding the knife, chopping at his neck", the court had heard. The boy raised his hands to protect himself and yelled for his father to stop, but was wounded on his neck and left thumb.
Tsang's 17-year-old daughter described the Shenzhen-born man as "a responsible father" who had never previously hurt his children. His outburst resulted from work pressures and quarrels with her mother, she wrote in a mitigation letter.
A report said the youngster showed no lasting psychological problems after the incident and his studies had not suffered.
Tsang's wife and three children, who are still in school, were all present in court yesterday in a show of support.
Poon said psychiatric patients needed public acceptance, which can help them get treatment and speed their recovery.